Going vegan with a baby

Perhaps you have read in my ABOUT section that we went vegan when Hailey was four months old. None of our extended family or friends were completely against this decision but some concerns were voiced that I will share with you in this post. Maybe you are thinking about going vegan and have had these worries yourself.

There were three main worries:

  1. Will Hailey get all the nutrients she needs?

  2. Will it be hard for her to be so different to other kids?

  3. Will she think that people who aren’t vegan are ‘bad’?

1. Will Hailey get all the nutrients she needs?

I want to start out by sharing a quote with you from the American Dietetic Association:

It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.

Raising vegan children is not a difficult thing to do, and there is one thing that makes it even easier: Breastfeeding! It took me two months of pain, infections, cracked, bloody nipples, and infections until i was able to breastfeed Hailey smoothly but I am so happy I pulled through. I just knew how beneficial it would be for her health. I wasn’t vegan at the time so it had nothing to do with that, it was just something I wasn’t willing to give up on. If you want to be vegan without breastfeeding you can also buy vegan formula by the way. I will share more about what Hailey eats in a future blog post.

2. Will it be hard for her to be so different?

It seems so far away to think about what school life will be like for Hailey, especially because we’re not even sure we will send her to public school. But either way, i’m not worried about her being different. I worked as a primary school teacher for ten years, and many of my students weren’t able to eat certain things either for health, religious or other reasons. I usually had something sweet for them in my drawer that I whipped out when we were celebrating someones birthday. I would just do the same for Hailey and give the teacher a good stash of vegan goodies.

If Hailey knows and understands why she is vegan she will be able to explain it, and be happy and proud that she isn’t causing harm to other living beings and less harm to our planet.

3. Will she think that anyone who isn’t vegan is ‘bad’?

We will not teach Hailey that she should ‘hate’ on non-vegans or be disrespectful. We are all victims of a messed up system, Josua and I weren’t vegan for 30 years. We want her to know that we eat a certain way, and this is the lifestyle that we have chosen for our family. It’s wonderful if we can inspire others through our example but we don’t want to force it on them.

Hailey’s first birthday with vegan oreo cupcakes!

Hailey’s first birthday with vegan oreo cupcakes!

Lately everyone has stopped expressing worries about Hailey, and this is because they all see that she isn’t missing anything. She is full of energy, hardly ever ill, and when she does get sick she recovers really fast. Of course we hope that it will stay this way, and we will always keep an eye on that, the same as all parents do with their children.